Thoughts On Strategy: E-commerce Performance
Everyone is focused on revenue these days. How can we grow it, how can we protect it, how can we slow down a decline? Your online revenue flows offer many opportunities to address these highly relevant questions. If online revenue is a key focus of your site, here are three things to consider:
- Make it insanely easy to give you money.
All too many online stores that I review have multiple unpleasant bits of interface that get in the way of the customer completing her transaction. This can include collecting data beyond what is required for the transaction, poorly designed interfaces, unclear error messages and many other factors. If your customers or members are hesitant to spend, don’t give them time to think better of it while wallowing through your e-commerce process!
- Accept all reasonable payments.
Accept all major credit cards. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish by refusing to accept American Express because the transactions fees are a bit higher. Enough said on that.
- Test, test, test. Then test a bit more.
Make sure your web analytics package is tracking progress through your e-commerce system and look for where you are losing people. Fix those points, measure, assess improvement and repeat. You will be shocked at how much improvement this simple process can create. I know of one association that had a six-figure improvement in revenue from removing one step in an e-commerce process.
I work with many association executives on improving their e-commerce performance. The beauty of this kind of effort is that the results are immediate! You don’t have to wait for a full campaign to conclude to measure impact. You know right away and reap the benefits from day one.
If you would like to explore how you can best protect and grow your online revenue, contact me to schedule a call.
Case Study: Giving a Lifeline
I want to show you two examples of providing a lifeline to site visitors going through a critical web site process. Both of these are e-commerce related.
First up, the AARP online membership application. The application has three steps, which are clearly identified at the top of the page. To the right of this is box with a heading of “Having Trouble?” This box offers a tollfree phone number to call for assistance in joining. They are happy to take your membership online but make it very easy to call them to complete the transaction over the phone instead. We’ve all experienced sites where they make calling them the hardest thing in the world. Not AARP!
Second, we look at Zappos.com, the online shoe retailer. Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh describes his company as a customer-service organization that just happens to sell shoes. This is evident on the Zappos web site as well. Almost every page (and every step of the shopping cart check out) has prominent contact information plus a button with which to start a live online chat with a customer service representative. Studies have shown that live chat support on e-commerce sites can dramatically increase your conversion rate. It is also highly customer friendly. This is not a coincidence.
What are you doing to give your members, customers and others a helping hand online for key processes?
High Geekery: A Lesson from Flash Photography
What one factor, more than any other, differentiates most professional photography from the billions of snapshots taken by regular people? You might be tempted to say the composition of the image or inate talent for seeing what other don’t.
The answer to why the pro work looks better, in many cases, is simply because the flash used to light the subject is positioned anywhere other than on top of the camera. The subject being lit from a direction other than the forehead of the photographer creates an image that subconsciously tells us, “this is different and must be of higher quality.”
This same thing holds true across many endeavors. Very simple changes can have a profound impact on how a design, product or service is perceived. How can you light the value you offer to your members, clients or customers so that it appears slightly different from the usual fare, making it stand out from all the others?
Offerings from David
Creating High-value Partnerships with Technology Providers
The key to successful technology implementations often comes down to the quality of your partnership with your vendors and service providers.
This teleconference recording discusses how to create and nurture these critical relationships. I also share what to do when things go wrong, based on my years of experience as an executive and consultant.
This one program could save your organization hundreds of thousands of dollars. None of us can afford key relationships with our technology providers to go sour in this economy.
The recording is available for immediate download after purchase.